I used to think I was over being cool, but now I just know how to do it.
Drink beer, smoke cloves, a pipe, don't inhale, but hold it just right. Listen to good music, be a good leader, brash if necessary but commanding. love people and they will at the very least like you.
go to grad school, but don't expect any real benefits. people who haven't been might think you are smart. talk about radiohead and sufjan. maybe even vonnegut and pahlaniuk.
read poetry by cohen and cairns and dillard. talk politics. smoke some more.
cool. good thing I am cool. I bet God cares that people think I am cool. I wonder if the devil is cool. probably, because cool is making bad look good. better.

cool is justifying being better than the other guy. man, its cool when guy A beats guy B at sport x in a new and amazing way. so cool that it's news. people make a living talking about some guy putting a ball in a hole. how stupid is that? almost as ridiculous as how much we pay to see men put rubber discs behind another guy into some twine. man.

Its cool that we can make idols out of people who make money telling us that sin is cool. That putting others down by being better than them, objectively, in a way that is meaningless, like doing tricks on a snowboard. what the hell is the meaning of snowboarding? or even the most fundamental of sports, soccer. it takes nothing. two feet and something resembling a ball, and two or more people. who is better. Beckham is better than you. so your value is less than his.

the system of value that this world perpetuates, and that the church has bought into is completely backwards to God's thinking and being. If you think that your church has not bought into the culture of this world, you are wrong. my church has bought into it, as individuals and as a group. we compete with our neighbourly parishes, we teach out kids to compete at camp. Jesus would do it. He would play soccer, and he would win. so that we all knew who was better.

Our churches do not love in the way that Jesus loved. we compete, we sell, and we judge them and ourselves on the same scale that people who deny God do, because we can't bear to accept the love of God and the value judgment that is unconditional love. we don't believe it. if you really believed that our value had nothing to do with our performance, our wealth, our worldly success, we would all live like monks. or be monks. although kids are nice too, and a good attempted corrective.

our value lies in our ability to submit ourselves to death. death of ego. death of our own false value judgments. death to competition. death to everyone around us. the only one left is Jesus Christ and next to him, we are both translucent and fully opaque, based on his light.

Thank God.